Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Soapbox (MSN Video)

Tuesday, 19 September 2006; 10:59

A grown man dressed-up as a dancing mutant butterfly? That what we first see at Microsoft’s most recent “let’s play catch-up” attempt, Soapbox, and hoped-to-be slayer of the YouTube dragon. Maybe Microsoft should begin copying others’ advertising, too. Anything is better than a butterfly which cannot at all dance.

Now only in beta, you will need to add your name to the list of Soapbox wanna-be beta testers. Good luck–with it or any Microsoft beta-phase product. In case you’ve not noticed, Microsoft has once again eschewed long-established standards and has redefined “beta” to actually mean “alpha.” That takes all the fun out of beta testing, and much of the hard work involved with testing alpha releases outside of Redmond. Instead, Microsoft lets the guinea pigs–known as “customers” to firms that actually care about end users–suffer.

Home page:  Soapbox

Soapbox Sillyfly

And once again, Microsoft, I have not forgotten that one of your sales reps cheated me ten years ago. She promised an Office suite in exchange for a formal and personal introduction when you finally figured out the web wasn’t going away. I provided the introduction she needed, but Microsoft never kept its part of the bargain. Again Microsoft, you have to wonder why you rank at the bottom of corporations trusted by consumers? How more clueless can you be than not to see broken promises greatly influence such perceptions? (No, I don’t hate Microsoft. I only hate being cheated.)

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Giving Lip (Budweiser)

Wednesday, 2 August 2006; 14:51

Yes, this is the third Budweiser entry today, but I promise you will not find yourself bored and yawning. This one is definitely good for a laugh.

Go ahead and play around with Budweiser’s Giving Lip. For maximum laughter, you might wish to select the pig or chimp first. However, don’t forget that you can also upload and use your own image(s).

Home page: Budweiser’s Giving Lip

Budweiser pilsner glass graphic

Philips Bodygroom (Norelco)

Monday, 24 July 2006; 19:12

I do not know where to start with this one. Maybe with Brazilian bikini waxes? Yea, that’s the ticket. (Be forewarned. What you are about to see and not hear will crack you up.)

Women have long had to contend with sensitive personal hygiene issues in advertising. And while they were doing so, men seemed to have few such worries and sometimes even snickered. That has changed. Men, too, now have certain “unmentionable” problems — namely body hair especially in certain “less visible” places, at least according to Philips.

And how does a firm tackle such a sensitive and hirsute problem? I’ll let Philips show you with the online promotion for its Bodygroom electric razor at its accompanying mini-site, ShaveEverywhere.com.

Honestly, there is nothing I can say that equals this online promotion. You simply have to experience it for yourself. Make certain you watch the music video. Oh, and you’ll also learn about the “optical inch.” And you thought my warning was just a joke. Hah!

Philips logo graphic
Philips/Norelco Bodygroom graphic

Virtools, The Behavior Company

Wednesday, 19 July 2006; 14:22

How about something I think the vast majority of you have not yet seen? Yet, you should. And why so? Because it’s really special. Trust me on this one.

First, download and install the Virtools 3D web player. (Macromedia/Adobe Flash player wasn’t good enough for the French? As usual, what is?) Then have a look at this visual-only demonstration to make certain it is working. Ready? Then let’s play. Web designers, pay attention. You do not wish to miss this.

First, have a look at this spectacular 3-D demonstration from eTinToys. Next, close the office door and have a blast with the Urban Adrenaline online game. Very cool. Beautiful 3D graphics, too.

Now click on over to ChatPark3D. Weird. Cool. Little people 3D avatars! (Just sign in with anything. It’ll work.) Now check out the all-too-real physics with the Car Arena Physics Demo. Crash! (No, not the movie.) From there, explore around on your own. Enjoy.

Okay, this time the French are on to something. This is several steps beyond mere Flash. The integration of the two means some wickedly nice web sites should start showing up. Yep, Virtools is a real winner. Web designers and viewers alike, don’t miss it or you will be sorry.

Oh, one more thing — the faster your computer is and with at least 1 GB of RAM, the better your experience. This one isn’t for sissy computers. I also now see why they call themselves a “behavior” company.

Home page: Virtools, The Behavior Company

Virtools player graphic

mofile tv

Wednesday, 5 July 2006; 9:27

Is this the Chinese version of YouTube? (Prepare yourself. This particular clip sure ain’t pretty, but it is “interesting.”)

mofile tv graphic

Kung Fu & Soccer (generic)

Wednesday, 5 July 2006; 9:03

Synchronicity. That is what some might call it when the first news article I read of the day is about the abbot of China’s Shaolin Temple, a Kung Fu master, being invited to attend the World Cup, and then the first web site on which I stumble is a Chinese soccer site. (Did China even field a World Cup team?)

Note: If there are controls for this game(?), I cannot seem to find them. However, action will commence if you simply wait a few seconds.

Abbot and Kung Fu Master Shi Yongxin

World Cup graphic

“Falling Georgie”

Tuesday, 6 June 2006; 17:26

How about a bit of inane fun? (Republicans need not apply.) Enjoy playing with Falling Georgie by pulling him around with your cursor. And no, I have absolutely no idea what purpose it serves other than to play with the guy who thought it was a bright idea to say, “Bring it on.”

Altoids

Monday, 8 May 2006; 9:47

How about some British humor approaching the weirdness of Monty Python’s Flying Circus? Altoids, The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong mints, entertains us with The Altoids Entertainment Extravaganza. And if there is one thing I can sometimes admire, it is consistency. The Altoids site wallows in consistency by being as curious as are the mints it promotes.

Then again, being too curious can have its disadvantages. I am curious as to why the site seems to work so poorly, especially navigation-wise. Maybe it is on too slow a server. Maybe it is my browser’s security settings, but I am stuck on the pinball game page and cannot escape! (Hint: If clicking on the links does not work, use your browser’s “Back” navigation button to escape from pinball hell.) I am also curious about the rationale for providing games, but no instructions on how to play them. But again, that could be me. I have only very few precious times played any sort of video games. (Hint: For the pinball game, use your “Shift” and “Ctrl” keys to manipulate the flippers. Use the “space bar” to put the ball into play.)

Any and all problems aside, stop in and enjoy a bawdy Vaudeville-esque and semi-burlesque break from your day. Be certain not to miss The Amazing Bend-O. ‘Tis indeed curious fun. (And where have they been hiding the ginger flavor? I want!)

Altoids Ginger Mints box

Skittles

Friday, 5 May 2006; 8:55

Skittles candy has always sold itself as fun. From cows being beamed up into flying saucers to its Smoothie Shop and Fruit Fighters games, the same holds true online. You may wish to enter the Chillin’ for a Million sweepstakes where you will also find singing penguins e-cards you can send to friends.

Skittles package pic

Apology (Time-Warner’s Abject Incompetence)

Thursday, 4 May 2006; 10:35

Dear readers, I apologize for the lack of recent postings. I moved last weekend and have not had internet service since last Saturday — thanks to what has to be the most incompetent provision of customer service possible by Time-Warner/Road Runner. This posting is being made from a public terminal. I gave the cable company a full week’s notice to transfer my service, but no service was to be found when I arrived at my new home. I have now called Time-Warner/Road Runner no less than a dozen times, but still have no service, and after being told lie after lie after lie as to when it should be expected.

There is now no doubt that an intra-company contest is being held this month at Time-Warner/Road Runner for the most incompetent employee and/or department, with the winner(s) receiving no less than a few million dollars. Nothing else can explain what appears to be an utter and complete disregard for delivering the services for which a customer has paid. Calls that were supposed to be returned never were. Front-line customer service representatives were clueless and rude. Time slots during which a technician was to arrive either came and went, or the technician stopped by at a time other than appointed.

At one point, I was given a different number to call because of the problems I am experiencing in simply having a switch thrown at an office somewhere. That number led me to a [Time-Warner/Road Runner owned and operated?] phone-sex service. No doubt, I will likely see a $2-$10 charge on my phone bill for that most unusual experience.

At one point, following the suggestion of a technician, I plugged in my cable modem. And although no one has lived here for two years, I had cable internet service! They clearly never turned it off two whole years ago! That access lasted for all of a couple of hours and then vanished. I am now being told that was impossible. Impossible? If so, I have become delusional and hallucinatory.

Please forgive the rant, but this whole thing is ridiculous — and unnecessary. Theoretically, I am supposed to be back online by 5 PM EDT today [Thursday]. Oh, and should you hear of a local cable office being firebombed, it was indeed an act of revenge by yours truly, SippinWhisky. Jeesh….

fmx/06 (Film & Media eXchange) – “Racing Beats”

Monday, 17 April 2006; 19:06

fmx/06? Hotrodding jumbo airliners (that never leave the tarmac)? First, the promotional trailer, Racing Beats.

And now, the raison e’tre…

Started twelve years ago, fmx has grown into a leading event for digital creation. And it is still growing, attracting visitors from all over Europe as well as speakers from all over the world.

fmx is a platform for Animation, Effects, Games and Postproduction where experts exchange ideas, experiences and insights with visitors who share and understand their goals and aspirations. Production companies, animation studios, effect houses, game developers and postproduction facilities present this year’s finest achievements. Users, researchers, scientists, hard- and software vendors, debate new technologies and practical application. Creators, financial backers and distributors get together, exchange ideas and pitch projects. Graduates and freelancers meet companies looking for new talent. Artists and producers, decision makers and job starters, creators, managers, distributors and people who work in TV share their knowledge and learn from each other and celebrate with each other.

fmx06 random image

Strawberry Frog

Wednesday, 5 April 2006; 15:03

After catching the [gentle] ire of a few viewers for not posting regularly as of late, I have made a promise to keep everyone happy by being more attentive. Thanks for letting me know you are paying attention. And, I promised something special. I hope this meets your expectations.

Flying the frog flag, Strawberry Frog terms itself your friendly neighborhood advertising agency. And with its worldwide presence, it is likely fairly nearby and they do produce some of the best advertising I have seen. Clients include Heineken, Gas Jeans, Old Navy, MTV, Elle, Komen, Global Warming, and quite a range of others. I especially like their explanations of each ad’s goals and/or objectives. ‘Tis most educational — and fun.

I must admit these guys and gals get it right, especially with their FishGutter ad for Asics. (Follow Showcase to Campaigns to Asics to FishGutter. Click on the image to view the video clip.) One of the most formidable challenges facing any advertisement is cutting through all of the clutter, and FishGutter cuts all the way through to the quick. I assure you FishGutter is like few ads you have seen. I am still laughing.

I next call your attention to a much shorter production, Air Pollution Affects Us All for the Singapore Environment Council, that is again very different in its own right, but gets the message across to viewers. (Follow Showcase to Campaigns to SEC. Click on the image to view the video clip.)

After that, turn your attention to You for Pharmacia Upjohn. Again, do take time to read Strawberry Frog’s rationale for the advertisement. (Follow Showcase to Campaigns to PharmaciaUpjohn. Click on the image to view the video clip.)

Follow likewise to view ads for Komen, Old Navy (Pick Up, Cord Farm) , IKEA (GoCubic), Boomer Coalition, Mitsubishi (Grandis, Colt, EvoIII, Outlander, WRC), Asics (Hero Breath, Kill Bill), and Heineken (Shopping). (Quite a range, eh?)

We then learn about an individual [heroine?] named Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma. Targeted toward MTV’s audience of teenagers, no words are spoken, but the advertisement speaks volumes. (Follow Showcase to Campaigns to MTV. Click on the image to view the video clip.)

And last, although it is not multimedia, take time to read Strawberry Frog’s philosophy at frogism. If ever I need advertising that is different, entertaining, and superb — for the internet and/or traditional media outlets — I am definitely calling Strawberry Frog! Given the range of their campaigns, it is clear that Strawberry Frog has never heard the words “cookie cutter.”